rsync big file

Matt McCutchen hashproduct+rsync at
Tue Jan 23 01:44:11 GMT 2007

On 1/22/07, Richard Z <rzheng at> wrote:
> I have a cron job to rsync one directory from one server to another
> every 5 minutes. There are some really big files. So it happens when
> the second instance of rsync tries to copy the same file when the
> first instance is not done yet. It drives my CPU crazy on the source
> server. Is there a way to avoid this problem?

Make the job do nothing if a previous instance of the job is still
running.  To accomplish that, use a lock file.  For example, if you
have flock(1), you could use the command:

flock --exclusive --nonblock /path/to/the/lockfile rsync ARGUMENTS...

Or in bash, you could use this code, which has a race condition that
won't be a problem when the job starts every few minutes:

if ! [ -f /path/to/the/lockfile ]; then
    touch /path/to/the/lockfile
    rsync ARGUMENTS...
    rm -f /path/to/the/lockfile


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